Peas

He couldn’t resist telling me.

Of course, he waited until I raved about how the peas were a perfect complement to his tandoori chicken, how, tucked in amidst the basmati rice, they were the perfect little green orbs.

I love peas. I have an unusual love of peas.

“Are you wondering where the peas came from?” he asked after I’d gotten my second helping.

I knew right away. The second he asked that question, I knew the truth about the peas. The peas that I loved five minutes ago became peas I eschewed, so to speak. Not chewed, as it were. Uneaten. Photographed.

These were the peas that had been in the plastic bag that he’d used to ice his torn Achilles tendon over the past several months. The peas that had rested in the freezer until called into action. The peas that had thawed and frozen, thawed and frozen, thawed and frozen, ten thousand times. Those were the peas he put on my plate next to my tandoori chicken and happily watched me eat until his glee could no longer be contained and he just had to explode with the question.

“Are you wondering where the peas came from?”

This is the man I married.

Thirty-two years ago today, we sat in his 1978 black Pontiac in front of my apartment and ‘kicked’ around the idea of getting married.

“We should just get married,” I said.

“Ok,” he said.

“Really?” I said.

“Sure, why not?” he said.

Such is the stuff of true romance.

“You have a hundred bags of peas,” he said tonight, referring to the freezer in our basement. “When you open the freezer door, there is a wall of peas.”

What could be finer, I ask, than a wall of peas.

Don’t go looking for peas.

Peas will find you.

So this is what it’s come to. Thirty-two years later, the hope and dreams floating through the air inside a 1978 black Pontiac sat on my plate, a few smidgeons of basmati rice left, the second helping of peas, now identified as those peas left on my plate, the First Aid peas.

What was I to think? What does it say about a person who serves his wife used peas on the anniversary of their engagement?

He never promised fresh peas.